Southland Disability Enterprises loses recycling contract

Southland disAbility Enterprises announced to their workers today that it is likely they will...
Southland disAbility Enterprises. Photo: Abbey Palmer
WasteNet has just announced it will pull the plug on its recycling contract with Southland Disability [SdE] Enterprises.

In a statement released by WasteNet chair councillor Alex Crackett this afternoon, it was confirmed the contract would come to a halt on June 30, 2020.

"WasteNet has a number of other initiatives, such as its contract with the Kings Bend landfill and its rubbish collection, which continue to operate successfully.

"However, regretfully we have not been able to find common ground on the recycling contract."

The Waste Advisory Group confirmed the shared service between the three territorial councils — Invercargill City Council, Gore District Council and Southland District Council — would pursue their own options for the provision of the service.

"I’d like to acknowledge the work of SdE over the past eight years, and wish them all the best for their future,” Cr Crackett said.

The advisory group acknowledged the situation was "complicated" by the "uncertainties" within the global recycling market, as well as the work central government was currently undertaking to provide direction to local authorities on the issue.

Cr Crackett, Southland Mayor Gary Tong and Gore district councillor Cliff Bolger, all members of WasteNet, were "saddened" by fellow member and city councillor William (Nobby) Clark’s request to the Invercargill Mayor, following the WasteNet meeting, to be withdrawn from WasteNet due to a lack of confidence in Cr Crackett and Mayor Tong, she said. 

"The work done by WasteNet representatives has been well thought-out and exemplary despite the frustrating circumstances that have surrounded this whole process,” they said.

They acknowledged the importance of members’ need to remain "objective" and not get too close to organisations to maintain "objectiveness".

"It is always hard to debate confidential and highly emotional issues in the public when only half stories are being told and we have always as WasteNet representatives made decisions based on specialist advice and on what is best for all our ratepayers.”

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